Californian Lucy Davis made her international senior championship debut at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, where she rode Barron–her “horse of a lifetime”–on the bronze medal-winning U.S. team. Now the 2015 Stanford University graduate and Barron are back in a big way, having been tapped for the Olympic squad with her WEG teammates McLain Ward, Kent Farrington and Beezie Madden. At Aachen this month, Lucy and Barron once again proved their mettle with a double-clear in the Nations’ Cup as part of the squad that tied for second place.
Q:What was your reaction when coach Robert Ridland called to say you had made the Olympic team?
A: I was pretty excited, to say the least. I was very anxious and nervous. It was kind of a childhood dream.
Q: Were you confident that somehow, some day, you could do this?
A: I’ve always been a goal-setter. I try not to doubt the goals. Obviously, the Olympics is kind of a crazy goal, but I just put my mind to it and never doubted that it would be attainable. I was lucky to have a lot of friends and family who also believed in my goal and me. When you set goals that high you just kind of have to go for it.
Q: What are you going to do after the Olympics?
A: I have another project on the side that I’ve been working on. It’s an equestrian app called PonyApp. Hopefully, it will launch simultaneously or shortly after the Olympics and I can work on that as well as my horses.
Q:What will that app do?
A: The initial version will be a way to streamline your management of your horses with your invoices and allow you to connect to all of the people who surround your daily horse care. That’s where we hope to start and hope to funnel all of your horse services through it in the future.
Q:Are you going to be coming back to the U.S. after the Games?
A: I will be spending the fall in California, and winter, I’m not sure, but maybe Wellington. I will probably always spend at least half the year in Europe but I’m really excited to go back to California. There seems to be a really nice circuit going on and it can be close to home.
Q: How has your relationship with your WEG teammates changed in the last two years?
A: Everybody had a really positive experience in Normandy and at least for me, being my first championship, I received a lot of support from the three riders on the team with me. I think that support continued through to now. I hope we are all a little bit stronger going into these Games. I’ve always had a really positive experience with all three of the riders. I’m a believer in team spirit and that your team relationships carry through.
Q: As you pointed out, you were a rookie back then (the WEG). Do you (now) feel more equal with them (the WEG teammates)?
A: Saying I’d be equal to someone like Beezie or McLain, I’m a bit far from that experience-wise, but I hope I can put in an equal score when I get to Rio and that definitely will be with a lot of their help and support.
Q:What about Barron? Have you felt him getting better, stronger, more confident, or is he just kind of the same as he’s always been.
A: I tried to spend the last two years since the WEG focusing on the Olympics and A) getting there, and B) getting there with a fresh and ready horse. The past year in particular, in the fall and especially the winter, I tried to show him sparingly and strategically so he would be fresh in mind and body. I think that definitely showed in the trials and now we have a really strong and confident horse going into the final month of preparation and hopefully, when we get there as well.
Q: What do you call him for short?
A: Barron or Renzo.
A: When I first came to the stable I was just declared an architecture major and Renzo Piano is an architect that is pretty famous and whose work I like. He’s a little bit of a flamboyant…the horse Renzo is a kind of flamboyant type, so it just seemed to fit.
Q: Are you going to do something with architecture?
A: I don’t think I’m going to pursue it as a career at this point. It gave me a really well-rounded education and I hope I’ll be able to design a stable or something someday.